3 Simple (Not Easy) Steps To Growing Your Fitness Business
Running a fitness business is challenging!
There’s no getting around it. Running any business is challenging, so why would fitness be any different?
However, the same way your clients want instant results, many fitness business owners expect that the next marketing campaign or fun sales trick is going to help them achieve instant business success.
You need to view your business as a long-term investment. It’s more than just a hobby to you, right?
You need to be prepared to invest your time, energy, and even a bit of your profits into your business so that it can grow. It’s not always easy, but it’s well worth it.
There are 3 steps you can take right now that will make a big impact on the success of your business. But you have to be willing to put in a bit of work.
Are you ready for them?
#1: Look into the Crystal Ball
Great business owners and entrepreneurs are able to see into the future. They know where they want their business to go and can visualize what the business looks like 3-5 years (sometimes longer) down the road.
Why the heck is that important? You have issues you need to fix right now!
Knowing where you want to go will help you align your actions with your vision.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there…”
Having a documented vision and metrics for success will help you make decisions on what issues you need to fix, identify your priorities, and communicate your vision to your team.
Without a vision, you have no direction. Without a direction, you have no priorities.
Think about your training clients for a minute. You start with the goal in mind when designing their training programs and then break it down step by step until you know what they should be starting with today to help them reach their goals.
Setting your business vision is the same process but over a longer period of time.
If you imagine where you want to be in 3-5 years, start with where you want to be at the end of this year and work back to figure out what you need to do in the next quarter to make sure you’re on pace to hit that target.
This doesn’t have to be complicated.
#2: Thou Shall Know Thy Numbers
We need 10 commandments of fitness business, and this might top the list!
If you are running a business, there is no excuse for not knowing your numbers, yet it’s a common theme among fitness businesses.
And I’m not just talking about how many leads you got and some ballpark sales number for the past month.
You need to truly know and understand the key metrics that are driving your business.
In the Fitness Business Alignment System™, we use 4 Sales & Marketing Pillars™:
- Front End Offers
- Core Offers
And don’t give any excuses for not being able to track them. At the simplest, you can write tick marks on a whiteboard to track them.
However, those numbers are just one small part of a business, the sales and marketing; you need to also have a handle on your revenues, expenses, and profits.
There are too many good fitness business owners out there digging themselves into a hole they can’t get out of by not being financially responsible.
There’s a simple formula for this…
Money In > Money Out
Here are the specific financial numbers you need to track:
- Gross Revenue: The money you bring in each month
- EFT Revenue: The recurring money that is coming each month from contracts
- Operating Margin: The money left after paying ALL expenses
- Autopay/Expense Ratio: The percentage of your recurring revenues that cover your expenses
- Net Revenue/Session: The profit each of your sessions is making for you
There are plenty more that you could track, but this is a good start.
The financial numbers will help you understand the health of your business, and the 4 Sales & Marketing Pillars will help you determine if your business is on track to grow the way you want.
It’s easy to look at your numbers when they are good, but a great business owner has a handle on their numbers no mater what the situation, and he or she uses them to make decisions.
Don’t be overwhelmed with all the numbers—the toughest part is figuring out how to accurately get the numbers. Once you know where to find the right numbers, maintaining them is easy.
Remember, this is going to require a little work! But that little bit of work is going to set you up for long-term success.
Don’t ignore your numbers!
#3: Empower with Simple Systems
When you love what you do and are good at it (as you are), taking your business from start up to success as a solopreneur isn’t incredibly difficult.
There will be challenges, but if your clients are having success, your business will grow. Throw in a few basic sales and marketing tactics, and you can have a really good business.
That’s where things get tricky. You can’t do it all forever!
If you want to grow from being the only person working in your business—literally being self-employed because you are employing yourself to do all the work—to actually being a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll eventually need to bring on other people to help you.
This is where many fitness business owner struggle to grow their businesses. Management skills are lacking and no systems have been documented in the business.
There’s good news though…
You can get better as a manager, and you already have systems—they just need to be documented.
The trouble most fitness business owners get into when creating their systems is making them too complex. The key is simplifying!
You can live by the 20/80 rule:
When looking at all your processes and systems, document the 20% of them that will help you get 80% of the job done.
Get rid of the mess and focus on the essentials.
Take a look at your business and identify the key processes or systems that are essential for your success. These include:
- Sales & Marketing
- Customer Service
- Facility Management
That’s a quick list that should get you close to covering 80% of the processes you need.
Now that you that have your list of those systems that need documented, break them down to their essential components that can be repeated.
This is where most people get tripped up!
You don’t need a script for every possible scenario for your administrative assistant. If you hire good people, have a set of Core Values that your people live by, and empower your people to make good choices, then they are capable of making those decisions.
That’s for another post though (in the meantime, you can take our free Core Values Course).
Simply document the essentials and the tasks that are repetitive so that you can provide your team (and yourself) with a simple checklist to get the job done well.
This will help you identify the key systems and processes that you need to have documented in your business.
These 3 simple (not easy) steps will put you on the right path and help you build a high-performing fitness business.
Executive Director, Fit Business Insider